By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer

DJ Uiagalelei (St. John Bosco) stepped up big time replacing veteran Trevor Lawrence who was out due to a positive COVID-19 test. The true freshman led the #1 ranked Tigers (7-0, 6-0 ACC) from a 15-point halftime deficit to a 34-28 win against Boston College.  

DJ Uiagalelei #5 former St John Bosco stand-out connected on 30 of 41 passes for 342 yards and two touchdowns is his debut as a starter for #1 ranked Clemson. (Photo courtesy of Clemson Athletics/David Platt)

Uiagalelei was steady and showed poise as he connected on 30 of 41 passes for 342 yards and two touchdowns is his debut as a starter. He also scored on a 30-yard TD run. 

“I’ve been down before in high school playing in big games. We have a great team,” said the 6-5’ Uiagalelei.  “As long as we came out in the second half and executed we were going to have a chance to win the ball game.” 

The freshman will get his chance for an encore as it was released due to the COVID protocols Lawrence will miss this weeks game at #4 Notre Dame. 

This past December Uiagalelei led St. John Bosco to a 49-28 win over Concord De La Salle in the CIF State Open Division Bowl Game. He completed 23 of 28 passes for 398 yards and four touchdowns. 

“He thrives in these situations,” Jason Negro St. John Bosco Head coach told the Los Angeles Times. “He has been in these situations before.” 

On the season he has completed 44 of 60 passes for 444 yards two TD’s and a 70 percent completion rating. Clemson Head coach Dabo Swinney stated, “He’s made some big plays but what I like about DJ is his poise and demeanor.”  

It was the 28th straight ACC win and 10th in a row over Boston College. 

MORE CALI PLAYERS in action: Lawrence White of (Bakersfield Ridgeview high) had 4 tackles as Iowa State (4-2, 4-1) defeated Kansas 52-22. White is 4th on the team with 30 tackles 23 solo and he has 1 interception… Chris Olave (Mission Hills High) had 7 catches for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns as Ohio State (2-0) defeated Penn State 38-25 in BIG-10 action. Bailey Gaither (Paso Robles) high had 10 catches for 208 yards and a touchdown helping San Jose State defeat New Mexico 38-21… Jack Sears (San Clemente High) went 17 of 20 for 280 yards and three TD’s and ran for one as Boise State (2-0,2-0) outlasted Air Force 40-30. Sears is also a transfer from USC. As a high school senior he threw for 2,600 yards and 37 touchdowns while leading the Tritons CIF Southern Section DII Title.